Endocrine Cell Differentiation
Diabetes results from loss or dysfunction of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Despite insulin injection treatment, diabetic patients suffer from long-term complications, such as blindness and kidney failure. Therefore, a central goal of diabetes research is to regenerate pancreatic beta cells or produce large numbers of functional beta cells for transplantation into diabetic patients. The successful generation of beta cells in vitro and regeneration of pancreatic beta cells in vivo will require a thorough understanding of the molecular networks that direct the normal development and function of these cells. We have shown that Maf transcription factors are key regulators of embryonic alpha and beta cell development and adult beta cell function.
- The objective of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control beta cell maturation and function in the embryonic and adult pancreas. Our research employs genetic engineering in mice as well as biochemical methods.
Beta cell replacement therapy is the only available cure for type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, donor material is scarce and large efforts are made to develop beta cells from stem cells. Understanding the mechanisms underlying embryonic beta cell development and adult beta function will be a prerequisite for the development of a universally available cell replacement therapy in diabetes.
(name linked to profile in Lund University research portal)
Principal investigator & group leader, scientist, Isabella [dot] Artner [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se